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[Pages 94 - 96]

The Sport Associations in Gombin

Wolf Maintczik

Translated from Yiddish by Meir Holtzman and to English by Ada Holtzman


Maccabi in Gombin
Picture from the Album of Meir Holtzman.
6th person in the top row is Hersz Lazer Holcman, my uncle, who perished in the Holocaust.
The dwarf, Umcza Kerber  is also in the picture


The most important Sport Association in Gombin was no doubt MACCABI. But there were other associations, like “Morgenstern” (“Jutrznia”) and in recent years: “Ha'poel Gombin”.

The beginning belongs to Maccabi, which was founded, if I am not mistaken in 1921. Among the founders of Maccabi were Abram Zychlinski, the sons of Glass Stolcman, Teyfeld, Holcman, Baum and others.

The early activities of Maccabi centered in two sports groups: football (soccer) and gymnastics. The football team was very strong and popular in the surrounding shtetls. Except members, they had many fans, who, during any match, clapped their hands with enthusiasm and cheered the players with all their hearts. In the flourishing period, the team consists of the following players: Zeidman Benyamin, Szmaja Maintczik 2 , Herszek Stolczman, Ignesz Stolczman, Motel Pelka, Dawid Toyber, Abrahamele Stolcman, Israel Moshe Zolna, Icze Szreks, Dawid Hodys, Zelig Rochberger and Szmulik Luszinski.

In the reserve played: Szimon Toyber, Gerszon Klinger, Mendel Kilbert, Dan Tayfeld and Reuven Tayfeld. Of course that during the course of time the players changed. The senior left and youngsters appeared on the field. Later appeared very talented players as Arcze Tiber, Dawid Zychlinsky, Moshe Hodys and Moniek Laski. A great talent as the goalkeeper showed Benyamin Chaja 1.

The games at this periods were against amateur teams, and herewith are some examples:

In the first round, Maccabi won 3:1. In the second game, which took place on a Christian Holiday: “Bostwo Cialo” 4 there were Anti-Semitic assaults. Maccabi led with 1:0 form goal of Aron Hodys 5 . Aron was bitterly hit and heavily wounded. He couldn't play again for a long time. 6

Since this occurrence, Maccabi didn't play for along time on the football field in Gombin, but in other towns, form fear of the Poles. This was the reason for it to become weak. The good players retired and Maccabi was not considered anymore to be the best in the neighborhood.

Maccabi had also a gymnastics team, which didn't excel specially and couldn't be compared to the brilliant gymnastic team of “Jucznia” 7 . So when there was a show of gymnastics, Maccabi invited the teams of Maccabi Plock and Wloclawek to participate instead of itself.

It is worthwhile mentioning that Maccabi had an independent wind instruments orchestra. The conductor was Moshe Hodys 8 . The orchestra had public concerts in the woods and in town. The concerts in the woods took place usually on Lag Ba'omer. Among the participants in the Maccabi orchestra were: Azriel Tatarka (played the Clarinet), Meir Zelig Kerber (played the lyric tenor), Tiber, Zychlinsky and Wruble.

In 1938, the football game strengthened once again and had important role to play. It attracted few of very good players like Benyamin Chaja, Moshe Grziwacz, Yosel Blawat, Szimon Spodek, Fajwisz Boll, Moniek Laski, Yankel'e Zolna, Mechle Ber and many others.

During this period and until the break of WWII, the team had many victories over Jewish teams from Gombin and the surrounding area.

When the Nazis conquered Gombin' only very few fled to the Soviet USSR. Most of the members shared the same terrible fate as all the Jewry of Poland.

Parallel to Maccabi, the Bund's Sport organization: “JUTRZNIA” was very active in the sport life of the shtetl. It had 2 teams as well: football and gymnastics.

The gymnastic team was excellent. They had few good coaches: Kroy in the beginning, and later: Abram Frenkel. The “Jutrznia” made a few public shows under the slogan: “In healthy body - healthy spirit”. The welcome message they used to have was: “New-Free” - “Strong-Faithful” (“frish - frei” - “stark - trei”).

The football team of “Jutrznia” played only amateurs games. It was not a strong team, but very ambitious. I remember the names of their players: Somel Szczerb, Hersz Natan Zeidman, Fajwisz Gurker, Szlomo Blawat, Chaim Gurker, Zalman Klinger, Moshe Schwarcz, Moshe Tipiel, Israel Stupai and Lazer Kuczinski.

I remember a game between the two Gombiner groups: Maccabi and “Jutrznia”. Maccabi won 3:1, while it appeared with its strongest team. Most of the members of Juczinia shared the destiny of their brothers in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, except very few who survived. All the others were killed by the hands of the Nazi murderers.


  1. Ben Guyer, Holocaust survivor, lives in Philadelphia. M.H. Return
  2. Error in the original text - Szmaja was the father and Szlomo was the son, the player. M.H. Return
  3. The first rain. M.H. Return
  4. “The body of God”. M.H. Return
  5. “I remember the goal until now... as happened yesterday, as well as all living Gombiners still do...” M.H. Return
  6. Aron Hodys was called later “The HERO” by everybody in the shtetl. Return
  7. “Jutrznia” (“Morgenstern” in Yiddish) was the Sports organization of the Bund. It means in Polish: “The dawn”. Return
  8. Moshe Hodys was the son of “Yankele Bachur”; the artist who made the wonderful grand wooden relieves in the Gombin Shul. Return




Ber Mechle

Blawat Szlomo

Blawat Yosel

Boll Fajwisz


Chaja Benyamin (Ben Guyer)


Frenkel Abram




Grziwacz Moshe

Gurker Fajwisz

Gurker Szlomo


Ha'poel Gombin.

Hodys Aron

Hodys Dawid

Hodys Moshe


Holcman Hersz Lazer


Jutrznia - The Bund Sports Organization


Kerber Meir Zelig

Kilbert Mendel

Klinger Gerszon

Klinger Zalman


Kuczinski Lazer


Laski Moniek

Luszinski Szmulik




Maintczik Szmaja

Maintczik Wolf


Pelka Motel



Rochberger Zelig


Schwarcz Moshe

Spodek Szimon


Stolcman Abrahamele

Stolczman Herszek

Stolczman Ignesz

Stupai Israel

Szczerb Somel

Szreks Icze


Tatarka Azriel

Tayfeld Dan

Tayfeld Reuven



Tiber Arcze

Tipiel Moshe

Toyber Dawid

Toyber Szimon






Zeidman Benyamin

Zeidman Hersz Natan

Zolna Israel Moshe

Zolna Yankel'e

Zychlinski Abram


Zychlinsky Dawid

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